Ever wondered what to say when asked the big question, “What’s your greatest weakness?” It’s a nightmare question that can ruin an interview if you don’t prepare.
But it doesn’t have to be! In this post, we’ll tell you how to answer this tricky question — and impress your interviewer — while also addressing some of the other questions on their list.
How to Describe Yourself in an Interview
Your goal in any interview is to stand out as the candidate who can do the job better than anyone else. That means you need to establish credibility, show your value to the company, and prove that you are a good fit for the position. The best way to do this is by properly answering each question they ask you. The key is being well prepared so you don’t have any surprises thrown at you.
Most questions can be broken down into 3 parts:
1. What are you here for?
This is just confirming that you are there for the position that they have advertised. You want to describe the job duties, match your skills to the job requirements, and clarify any questions they may have about your qualifications.
2. What makes you qualified?
This is where you need to show why you are right for the job beyond your basic qualifications (or having done something similar in the past). This is where your targeted preparation will pay off. You don’t want to read from a list of skills. Instead, demonstrate that you have the specific skills, knowledge, and abilities required for the job by using stories about your past experiences. Take the time to learn what you’ll be doing day-to-day in this position so you can give an example that reflects the job description.
3. Why you are here?
This is the opportunity to sell yourself. This is where you can show why you are the best person for the job, what makes you truly shine, and what makes you different from everyone else. You want to answer by demonstrating how your skills and experience will improve things for your future boss.
So how do you get ready for this question? The best way to get ready is to get familiar with each of these questions in advance so when they come up in an interview, it doesn’t surprise you.
How to Answer Tough Interview Questions
How to Answer: What’s Your Greatest Weakness?
Being prepared for this question — and knowing how to answer — can make the difference between getting the job and not. When you answer this question with a skill-based weakness, the interviewer will assume you have already taken steps to improve on it. A behavioral-based weakness is a weakness that you have demonstrated through past actions so being able to provide an example is key.
Since you only have a few seconds to answer this question, thinking on your feet and rambling won’t help. So here’s how you should answer:
Answer: My greatest weakness is that I work too hard and often take on too much at once. I’ve been working on setting better boundaries for myself so that I can still give 100% but also ensure that I take time for myself and my family. In fact, one of the things I’m most proud of is being a dedicated parent to my son, Andrew. I never miss a game or school event, I’m always ready to help out, and I always make time for his friends.
**This answer made me look like a hard working person who cared about my son**
How to Answer: Why Should We Hire You Over All Others Who Are Applying?
The goal of this question is to assess how you see yourself. The best way to answer this question is by highlighting the skills that you believe will make you successful in this role. Don’t sell yourself short or speak negatively about your experience. Instead, think about the skills that will make you stand out among your competitors for this job.
You can address this question in different ways depending on how it is asked or what else you are being asked to explain. Here are a couple of examples:
Tell me about yourself.
How would you describe yourself?
What have been the most significant milestones in your career/life?
In what ways have you demonstrated initiative? Leadership? Pro-Activeness? Creativity? Initiative, leadership, creativity, pro-activeness… I’m sure you’ve heard these words before. You may even be able to answer them without being asked. Here’s why: because they all follow a similar format.
Tips for Describing Yourself in an Interview (Examples)
If you score less than “Excellent” in the SAT or ACT, tell them. Don’t just say you scored a “C” in high school English. That’s not impressive because it’s the only thing everyone else did except for you.
Be prepared to talk about your strengths and weaknesses (without getting too specific). You don’t want to go into detail about every problem you’ve ever had, but make it clear that you are aware of your weaknesses and are willing to work on them. You can tell them that you are self-critical, which may also earn you some points for being self-aware.
Knowing how to answer this question is important. Make sure you practice answering it before you get to an interview, and keep in mind that if you aren’t properly prepared with the right answers, the company will pass on hiring you and move on to another candidate.